Mayor loves the donor class, solar hypocrisy… blame voter apathy

Bloody hell, that Greg Fischer is a right jammy git.

What, has he lined up a two-hundred-grand-a-year teaching gig at UofL too? Stone me, that’s some sweet grift there.

As extraordinary as that story is — and props to Insider for breaking it — I am in fact referring to Fischer’s trip to India to go and watch cricket. He should’ve taken me as a translator; 10 days ought to be enough time to help even a culturally-challenged American understand a sport that is to baseball as chess is to draughts.

Typical. Leave it to Louisville’s resident toffee-nosed, chinless nonce to think that anyone has any interest in cricket. Any sport where a bunch of paunchy, boarding schoolboys can compete with athletes is no sport at all.

Well, it’s not for plebs, so nobody will ever ask you for an explainer. As it happens, Fischer spent quarter-of-a-bar building a cricket field in Prospect last autumn, so it’s one of the few sports on the up here. And six months later there he is, pressing palms in the subcontinent where cricket’s an officially-sanctioned state religion. Makes sense, though, doesn’t it? If you build it, they will come. Good business.

That’s most of what Fischer is, though: business. Even a milquetoast liberal like you can grasp that he’s mainly about the donor class. Any benefit that ends up with the poor sods eking out a living in non-donor parts of the city is accidental, not by design. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like him, seems like a decent bloke. I just think he could be so much more if he weren’t beholden to Louisville’s misplaced faith in capitalism as the only way to make this a stronger city.

How did we stop talking about cricket? Not being here also gives him cover to avoid having to take any position on the wave of utterly-bonkers bills making their way through the Kentucky legislature. A sticky wicket, if you will. Inserting tolerance of bigotry into taxpayer-funded jobs, new death penalty rules, killing solar power as a viable and sustainable power source.

Hang on, doesn’t one of your best mates own a solar panel business?

All right, in the spirit of transparency, yes, he does. But it makes no difference to my opinion. This bill is a blatant attempt by bought-off politicians to kill competition for LG&E and the coal industry, and yet another giant leap backward for this state. The same LG&E that, by the way, had no such qualms in touting the benefits of solar when it applied to the Public Service Commission for permits to build its own solar-powered plants, which it did.

Meanwhile that posturing GOP anorak from up the river, Thomas Massie, bleats on about his libertarian chops by writing about how he lives off the grid with rooftop solar panels and battery electricity storage. Turns out he’s an “elite coastal liberal” who hates coal, too!

Solar power for me, but not for thee.

Right. Although I see this as the last act of desperation from moribund industries, and therefore nothing to worry about. The tide has turned, and, like our best-named king, Cnut, they can do bugger-all about it. Batteries will eventually render the grid itself obsolete. And in fairness, the Kentucky legislature is also taking a break from the norm by pushing a couple of eminently-reasonable bills too. Prohibiting prospective new employers from asking about your current salary makes a lot of sense, as does this bill aimed at ending child marriage in Kentucky. Unlikely to pass because it would probably result in lifelong bachelorhood for most of our elected Republican officials. But still, it’s the thoughts and prayers that count.

Clever boy. Speaking of that chestnut, I actually sat through some of Bevin’s radio interview the day after Parkland. I know he’s the lowest of all the low-hanging fruit, but I was still enraged. Worse than listening to Steve Inskeep, NPR’s most excruciatingly awful hack. Bevin is still blaming video games and culture. “There is no one single thing” that school shootings have in common. How does he say that and keep a straight face?

Because the Deplorables who elected him are willing to keep him in office in exchange for supplying them with insincere bromides they can use in defence of their life choices. There’s no ethical reason to carry a gun or hate gays or attack women or promote imperialism, so they yearn for some sort of “moral” source to refer to, to support their need to justify themselves, as we all do, I suppose. So if it’s not Bevin it’s the Constitution or the Bible. Whatever works to help them assuage their knuckle-dragging insecurities about being unsuccessful.

There aren’t enough single-issue voters on the right side of this. The GOP has a stack of single-issue voters that it can and does rely on who’ll vote on abortion come hell or high water. Democrats, every bloody time, have to persuade people to get to the polls. That’s the principle disadvantage of being fact-based instead of faith-based, I reckon.

Right. People complain that Congress does nothing, that people like Bevin and McConnell do nothing except the NRA’s bidding. And as true as that is, when it comes to the one thing they can do — act at the ballot box — they have to be persuaded, cajoled, and shamed into voting. It’s pathetic. They do nothing because voters let them do nothing.

No wonder Fischer needed a break. Much as I love it here, 10 days of Delhi belly sometimes seems preferable.